In his brilliant and well-circulated essay, Common Sense, Revolutionary Founding Father Thomas Paine wrote, “government at its best (i.e. when it is doing everything right and nothing wrong), is a necessary evil.”
In other words if like me, you view government from the Thomas Paine school of thought, then governments - all governments - are inherently evil. This means that government is never your friend and only your ally when its own evil objectives benefit from the alliance.
Couple this characterization of government with the growing paranoia being displayed by numerous governments around the world, and what you get is a very chilling image of the future. I for one find it to be very frightening, indeed!
In case you do not see clearly the danger presented by this scenario, I will provide you with just two recent examples that have crossed my desk.
In Orlando, Florida, members of an Orange County anti-crime unit will patrol city streets while carrying automatic submachine guns. The city has ordered 40 of these weapons of war. Officially, this is needed to fight the well-armed criminals selling drugs in Orlando.
Meanwhile, in London, England, streets were closed and Soho’s theater district and night life were disrupted when Thai Cottage restaurant was cordoned off by police on suspicion of being the source of a chemical outbreak. Apparently, somebody (we do not know who) smelled what he thought were chemicals. As a result, the Fire Brigade was called along with a Hazardous Response Team unit. Firefighters dressed in special protective suits smashed down the doors only to discover the source of the smell… chef Chalemachai Tangjariyapoon’s fiery signature nam prik pao chili sauce!
These are not isolated or even infrequent examples of government paranoia. Rather, they represent a growing trend toward an obsessive drive for security at all costs, even at the cost of personal and social freedom and privacy.
Furthermore, these paranoid reactions by government agencies have a side effect; they result in large numbers of officials shoving people out of the way, brandishing military firearms, and generally going around bullying the ordinary citizenry, and always in the name of solving some immediate crisis or emergency.
I consider this to be extremely dangerous because it relegates the needs, wants and desires of each individual citizen to a trash heap, irretrievably replaced by government-declared emergency or crisis circumstances that require oppressive and/or repressive tactics, whose immediate needs are meant to justify the resulting inconveniences and violations experienced by individuals seeking to exercise their natural rights.
Many governments today are stoking the fires of demonization of Muslims. Oh, they are all quick to speak the politically correct rhetoric that they only target “extremists” and not the general Muslim population. But what exactly is an “extremist”, according to these same governments?
Today, extremists are considered to be people who resort to violence to achieve their political objectives.
However, by this definition Patriots like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry and the like were extremists, because they believed that violent Revolution was necessary to preserve their God-given rights.
What makes today’s oppressed any different? Why should we accept the credo that violence against an intractable, criminal enemy is unacceptable and anyone who advocates violence is an extremist who must be destroyed by any means whatsoever?
At this point, let me ask you a hypothetical question: does God exist?
If you believe like me that the answer is, “Yes”, then my next question is whether God’s Laws and Word are of value? If they are, then how valuable should they be? Should they be more important than man-made laws? Should they be dearly cherished?
If you believe in God and also believe that His Laws and His Word are the most precious things that exist in this universe, then what would you do to protect and defend those Laws and Word from attack? Would you be willing to stand as a soldier for God, prepared to lose your life in His defense? Would you be willing to take the life of another in defense of His Laws and His Word? What wouldn’t you be willing to do?
These are hypothetical questions but they could easily become real ones. You are well-advised to answer them while they are still hypothetical.
The bottom line is whether you believe there is anything worth fighting to defend, preserve or protect. Is violence ever an appropriate response?
I know that the higher-minded among you will immediately react by saying that Mahatma Gandhi sparked a non-violent Indian revolution and you would be absolutely correct. I also believe that a non-violent revolution is more effective in the long run than a violent one. However, that is non-responsive to the question, which is whether or not there is ever a reason to engage in violence.
If you don’t think so, then you are saying that the American Revolution should never have been fought and all Americans should be British subjects of the monarchy. Additionally, you are saying that the Laws of God are unimportant, since He says we are not to be slaves, and British subjects are effectively slaves of their government.
A major problem we face today is that too many governments are acting paranoid. I suspect that they are doing this by design rather than for any real reason, in order to justify further encroachment upon the freedoms of each individual citizen.
For example, terrorism has been adopted as the global buzzword to muster the forces of oppression together and stoke up the lynch mob mentality on a national and even global scale. After all, who would dare to speak out against fighting those who kill and maim innocent babies?
However, those making the most noise tend to carry the greatest guilt of terrorism. According to Funk and Wagnall’s Dictionary of the English Language (1953), the definition of a terrorist government is, “A government that rules by intimidation.”
By that definition, the United States, Britain and Australia are among the greatest terrorist governments in the world! This also means that if you pay taxes to the United States, you are supporting a terrorist government, which is a crime under the USA PATRIOT Act! So stop paying federal taxes to Washington!
I suppose that the more I see the problem, the greater the extent to which it appears to affect the people of the world. I see untrustworthy, evil governments using their respective “fear of terrorism” to justify draconian measures that restrict the free exercise of the God-given rights of the very people they govern. I see those same governments fanning the flames of paranoia among the general population in order to establish public support for their Gestapo-like, Stalinist measures in response. I see military soldiers in the streets of our cities and towns as if it was ordinary, serving to normalize the militarization of our country. I see police-state tactics employed on an unsuspecting and ignorant population.
I see a war being waged by governments against their own people, a war on freedom.
Perhaps it is time for the people to develop their own sense of paranoia. Ordinary Americans need to become obsessive and paranoid about losing their freedoms, and take appropriate steps to protect and preserve them. Because two things are certain… we have legitimate reasons to be paranoid and if we continue to do nothing, there will be nothing left of our freedom.